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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sun-Times: State Rep. admits to FBI he screwed up over bribe

Here's the sad thing about this story. In 2012, not long after his arrest the Illinois House of Representatives voted to expell Derrick Smith from that chamber. Unfortunately even after recruiting a Democrat - and having him run as a member of a new party - the voters of Smith's district sent him right back to the seat he had been expelled from.

In this year's primary he was supported by his party leaders. While it seems quite counterintuitive, it may well make sense if you want to protect the overall numbers of your caucus and without causing a circus of finding someone to replace one of your members. So it is now, while he's waiting to stand trial Rep. Smith remains a member of the Illinois General Assembly!

It's interesting that he knew he was wrong and said as much to the FBI agents who interviewed him. Now this is certainly one of those times where instead of running your mouth you may need to talk to an attorney.

Monday, April 14, 2014

So the #Cubs are headed to Yankee Stadium
I've been doing a good job of following the Cubs this season starting with making a more concerted effort to follow the games on TV. For the past few years I haven't done a very good job and wanted to change that this year. Win or lose if the Cubs are on TV I will watch!

And at that I intended to follow their progress using Twitter or FB. Well worthwhile project, unfortunately there aren't a lot of wins to rack up so far.

Hell, a twitter account covering the Cubs simply tracking whether or not the Cubs won a given game has proven to be ingenious. Should've seen their tweet for the result of yesterday's game in St. Louis against the Cardinals:
How many ways can a twitter account simply say yes or no during the course of a season. HAHA! Anyway, the Cubs will be going to New York this week to face another storied and most successful team in the New York Yankees. A consistent championship team that I understand is worth $1 billion.

If the Cubs are my team in the National League I consider myself a low-key Yankees fan as far as the American League goes although I don't necessarily follow their games. You know I recognize that I should just stick with Chicago teams in baseball. Perhaps I could just say Cubs for the NL and the White Sox for the AL.

Anyway, I enjoy watching the Yankees in the post-season and they seemed to have made regular trips not just in the post-season but to the world series itself. Although it appears that they only won two World Series titles last decade one in 2000 and the other in 2009.

The Cubs don't frequently face the Yankees. In fact at one point the only way that happens is during Spring Training perhaps or the World Series. And the Cubs have faced them in the World Series 1932 and 1938 as noted to in this NY Times article.

That article - or essay as it's noted at the link -  seems to partly cheerlead for the Yankees and at the same time trashes the Cubs. Or does it instead seems to have an honest conversation about the shortcomings of the north siders?

All the same, I want to believe the current state of the Cubbies is only due to the fact that it's early in the season yet. Yeah 4 out of 12 games won so far, perhaps a turnaround is coming. Hopefully it will be sooner than later.

As I stated already if 2015 is to ever be the year - yes I recognize it as wishful thinking - there needs to be some evidence of that this season!

ALSO, I took the accompanying quiz and well I've got a lot of Cubs trivia to brush up on!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Why is that?

I'm reading this article almost three months later and it causes me to ask a question.

According this article a Black state legislator was forced to resign as Chairwoman of her state's legislative Black caucus because she dared to appear with a Lt. Governor who just so happen to be of the opposite party. Now this state legislator Missouri State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed a Democrat stood with a Republican Lt. Governor of Missouri Peter Kinder.

Reading the articles and while not explicitly states - besides it's what I look for - my conclusion was that this was very partisan. The issue was over low-income tax credits for housing.

The question I'd have to ask is what's wrong with supporting someone across party aisles on an issue such as this? Shouldn't there be more bi-partisanship such as this? Besides, there are a lot of issues facing low-income people and minorities why not reach across the aisle to the other other party?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

So CBS "Late Show" now has a new host

This announcement a week after David Letterman announced his retirement surprised me. Not that I perused all the media speculating on whom CBS wanted to replace Letterman sometime next year. I heard Craig Ferguson and John Stewart but never Stephen Colbert.

Stephen Colbert? Really? Well it's in the news now so yeah, it appears he'll be the next one making moves on late-night on broadcast TV.

Just like Stewart who hosts Comedy Central's The Daily Show, Colbert is known for his TV program also airing on Comedy Central - The Colbert Report - where he plays a faux-conservative. I'm not a regular watcher of Colbert but it was OK some of the times I have seen it.

Anyway Colbert will now have to host not as a character, but as himself. He won't be much different than the other late night hosts from Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien, Craig Ferguson, Seth Meyers, or even Arsenio Hall. What will Colbert bring that will make his mark on late night TV?

I shall look forward to Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Ultimate Warrior...

[VIDEO] It was very cool watching the Ultimate Warrior on Monday Night Raw this week. I didn't immediately recognize him when I tuned in because for some reason I still got his youthful appearance in my head still. What I saw was a gray-haired man with a goatee running around with a red-tie and suit along with an airbrush painted overcoat.

He even spoke like Ultimate Warrior and even donned an Ultimate Warrior mask. Hmmm didn't he usually paint his face? Anyway little did I realize that Warrior - which was his legal name he was born James Brian Hellwig - would share this one last moment with his fans. He died on Tuesday! :(

I've understood over the years that he's had many disputes with the WWF's owner Vince McMahon. Only recently did he return to not only become a member of the WWE hall of fame, but to become an ambassador for the company that made him famous.

Well wrestling fans, I hope you saw the last appearance of the Ultimate Warrior in a WWE ring. It's sad, but the appearance on Monday was truly a treat!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Ideological prejudice

I was really late to this story. Late last month Raffi Williams was in a twitter match with senior editor of Ebony magazine Jamilah Lemieux. What is displayed here are strong opinions especially on Ms. Lemieux's part.

It's bad enough when she has strong opinions against Black conservatives, it was made worse because she mistaked Raffi Williams as another white conservative telling her what to do. For this exchange Ebony magazine was forced to apologize for the comments of their senior editor on twitter.

Since Mr. Williams works for the Republican National Committee, it made it much easier for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to get involved. Also noted is that Raffi, is the son of FOX News contributor Juan Williams who is decidely liberal in his own views.

Either way, we see how media types get their jobs. Often if you're a person with a platform in this case anything from a print magazine magnified by social media it's very easy to spout off with strong opinions. Sometimes depending upon the ferociousness of the dialogue things are said that could be used to drive controversy. That's what happened in this case Williams and Chairman Priebus were able to turn this into a controversy.

That's not to say that what Ms. Lemieux expressed isn't often uncommon amongst a certain segment of Blacks. She was obviously very hostile to Williams thanks to his political affiliation and this match started off with her spouting off about a proposed Black conservative publication to be started by neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

I was reminded of this incident via the Field Negro blog who referred to this incident in this way: "'Ideological prejudice'? Yes. 'Racial prejudice'? Not so much." That comment was directed at Priebus who refered to this twitter match as much as an ideological one as it was racial.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

David Letterman announces his retirement

[VIDEO] I never thought I'd see the day when David Letterman would retire from his program. Perhaps that day was coming as Letterman is a senior citizen already and spent a long time in the public eye with 12 years as host of NBC's Late Night show and then 20 years as host of CBS' Late Show. Without a doubt he has had a good run.

Over the years I have considered myself a Letterman fan starting with his Late Night show. In the case of Late Night with David Letterman it was safe to say I was not in the target audience of his show. I was too young, but that show made me laugh in more ways than one when I did get a chance to see the show.

When Letterman left NBC for his CBS show I followed him and consistently found him more interesting than Tonight Show host Jay Leno. There are some bits from the Late Show I still find myself reciting and remembering today even though he no longer does those bits.

Even better if you look on YouTube you will find nothing but Letterman clips from his TV programs over the years. The funniest ones involve his Late Show announcer Alan Kalter who is treated terribly. Kalter is either a pervert or a temperamental guy who goes off at the slightest provocation. Sometimes for humorous effect Kalter is assaulted, but kudos because any bits involving Alan is often very hilarious!

Now it's time to figure out who shall succeed Letterman on Late Show. Could it be Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson? My personal idea would be to bring Conan O'Brien back from basic cable to broadcast TV. Well at least no one from CBS would likely read this so my idea may not see the light of day. Still Conan could be as likely a successor as Ferguson.

Anyway, the future without Letterman on TV will be here before I know it. The late night landscape has changed over the years and will continue to change. We saw it with Jimmy Fallon hosting Tonight and we'll surely see it with the future evolution of the Late Show.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Own a share of the Cubs to finance stadium renovations...

Postcard of Wrigley Field via Chicago Argus
I damn near fell out of my chair finding out that the Ricketts family who currently owns the Chicago Cubs are exploring selling shares of this historic franchise in order to fund some renovations to the "Friendly Confines" of Wrigley Field. The renovations have been talked about since the Ricketts purchased the Cubs and are part of the public debate here in Chicago.

Yup, major league baseball owners in my fair city have to go through the Chicago City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Especially if at one point during this process the Ricketts wanted to procure public financing to fund Wrigley renovations

Now, I read Chicago Argus who discusses this further. Granted, Gregory Tejada is solidly a Chicago White Sox fan and hence this will explain some of the dismissive tone you will read in his write-up. At the same time he like a lot of baseball fans have an opinion about this development.

It would be cool to own a share of the team. In fact years ago I'd have been keen on owning a piece of the World Wrestling Federation. However even in those instances it would be a share and not necessarily a controlling interest in such a business. Plus the different between the Cubs and the now WWE is that one of them is publicly traded. No major sports franchise in this country has shares available for purchase on the NASDAQ or NYSE for example.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

To ask for it and/or to follow-up...

[VIDEO] Since I've started job hunting, there has been a lot of time used for Googling advice. Then one morning I found this link via Ask a Manager which linked to an article from The Onion which contained a video. We know that The Onion is satirical and as a result it's safe to say that what's included herein isn't fact. Perhaps gumption isn't or wasn't the way to find a job at least as the above grandfather attempted to state.

This leads me to the next topic I want to discuss, following-up. In my current job hunt, I have been loathe to do that and it seems always have been. It hasn't been entirely true however as there have been times where there were attempts on my end to follow-up on applications and such.

Thankfully with tools such as e-mail available and you know some contacts at a particular employer it should be made easier. Although another question is whether or not the employer will respond and give you an up-or-down vote.

Since I've been looking recently there have only been only two attempts at following-up. Both times I learned that I wasn't going to get the job and one of those situations was illustrated here. The other one was spur of the moment at the encouragement of a friend and it feels even worse getting the bad news in person!

In that spur of the moment instance, I only talked to the hiring manager and never the manager who interviewed me. While the hiring manager gave me information that suggested I likely didn't get the job, he did give good advice that I never took thanks to my disappointment. He suggested that I call the interviewer to follow-up and never did so.

Another way I've followed-up over the years is straight asking if an employer - mostly stores - were doing any hiring. This was primarily done via e-mail - as stated I find that easier - and got some responses although not always. This helped guide me as I continued my search.

Years ago I made a crude attempt at following-up by sending in resumes and applications via "snail-mail" and unfortunately netted utterly no response. Then again that was when I knew very little about job hunting and it's various nuances as there's a way to follow-up that would allow for someone to actually talk to you.

It's really tough out there, but the bottom line is that there is advice that suggest that you shouldn't follow-up. However, there are managers who are approachable enough to ask about opportunities and even with regards to following-up on applications or even hiring timetables. Again there is a way to do this to gain some success however whether you do or you don't should be done on a case-by-case basis.

BTW, at the end of The Onion article the grandfather interviewed also found his wife at the place where he found his job. I suppose it all takes initiative doesn't it?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

So Cubs fans are hoping for a World Series victory in 2015...

[VIDEO] Lately I've been seeing that Cubs fans are hoping that 2015 will finally be the year the "Loveable Losers" finally win their World Series after more than a century of futility. Yeah, believe it or not the the last time the Cubs made it all the way in the major league post season was in the year 1908. It makes you wonder what's been going on 100 years plus where the Cubs just can't go beyond getting a World Series berth.

All the same, I appreciate the optimism and it's always a good trait to have. Unfortunately if 2015 would be the year we'd have to see some evidence of that now. Although I recognize that at times it seems a team could do so well one year and then be terrible the next. Them's the breaks I suppose.

Why 2015, you may ask? Well in Back to the Future II, Marty McFly time travels to the year 2015 where at some point the Cubs won the world series. Alas 2015 is next year and none of us are traveling around in a flying DeLorean vehicle.

And if you believe Steve Rosenbloom - sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune - the Cubs of 2014 aren't looking so promising. Bummer! I'm not very knowledgeable about sports - perhaps the rules and perhaps the business side - beyond that don't expect me to be an expert player scout. The best way for me to judge a team if they got the right won-loss percentage. Of course on field play is very important but don't ask me to evaluation them unfortunately I got to have enough of an attention span to focus on almost all games the Cubs play.

Here's one bright spot, the longtime home of the Cubs - Wrigley Field - is celebrating one hundred years of service this year. It's still one of the oldest parks in the majors and baseball fans who appreciate history are probably booking their trips to the Wrigleyville neighborhood. Now to the owners - the Ricketts family - how about insuring that the Cubs will be contenders for a World Series before it's time to hit the old "friendly confines" with a wrecking-ball!